Musical retelling of the famous fairytale. In the kingdom of Euphrania, young Cinderella (Gemma Craven) lives a life of misery with her wicked stepmother (Margaret Lockwood) and two stepsisters. When a Great Ball is thrown in honour of the Prince (Richard Chamberlain), the forlorn Cinderella dreams of attending - only to have her wish granted by her Fairy Godmother (Annette Crosbie)! At the Ball the Prince meets and is smitten by Cinderella, but the path of true love does not run straight...
You know the story: Cinderella rides in a magical pumpkin to the ball, enchants the prince and flees at midnight. He finds her slipper and tracks her down, and they live happily ever after. But wait! In The Slipper and the Rose
, it turns out there's more to the life of a prince than being charming. The king prefers to choose the prince's wife, one of proper social station who would provide a strong political alliance to ward off the kingdom's enemies. That's one of the twists in this 1976 British take on the classic fairy tale, one of a long line of musical versions. The disgruntled prince, who's as much of a focal point here as the lady with the footwear, is played by Richard Chamberlain, during the years when he was taking on the classics and had not yet been crowned king of the TV mini-series. He displays a pleasant voice opposite Gemma Craven as Cinderella, and veteran character actor Michael Hordern as the king leads the supporting ensemble. Add lavish sets and lush scenery (partially filmed in Austria), humour, fun choreography, and an Oscar-nominated score full of charming songs by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman (veterans of such Disney movies as Mary Poppins
and The Jungle Book
, and who also co-wrote the script with director Bryan Forbes), and you have a grand, engaging family musical. The 143-minute running time and dreamy, deliberate pace might test the patience of antsy viewers, but The Slipper and the Rose
's legion of fans wouldn't have it any other way. --David Horiuchi, Amazon.com